Friday Night with Guitar George: Thanksgiving 2015 Edition


Breaking news: after seventy-five consecutive weeks of FNWGG, I have decided to take a week off. So, tonight’s edition is a special two week Thanksgiving special. I thought about loading up a bountiful feast of music with numerous videos for your holiday enjoyment, but I decided instead to eschew excess in favor of a single Thanksgiving-appropriate message.

In 1977 Don Henley was the prince of Western civilization. He was co-leader of a band (The Eagles—you may have heard of them) whose fifth album (Hotel California—you may have heard of it as well) was the best-selling record on the planet. Already popular and successful, Henley suddenly became a superstar and a multi-multi-millionaire. Don had all the booze he could drink, all the drugs he could ingest, and all the women he could handle. And he had a gaping hole in the pit of his soul. Two decades later Henley finally found the contentment and fulfillment that fame and fortune could not buy. A happy marriage, a growing family and a new appreciation for life all are celebrated on Henley’s 2000 album An Inside Job. The record includes love songs to his wife (“Taking You Home”, “For My Wedding”), a lullaby for his daughter (“Annabel”), a condemnation of alcohol and drug abuse (“The Genie”), and a celebration of his newfound satisfaction (“Everything Is Different Now”). Henley fittingly concludes the album with a heartfelt midlife expression of hard-earned gratitude. “My Thanksgiving” is nicely arranged and produced, with guitars, bass and drums providing an unobtrusive mid-tempo thump that gives the music the gravity it needs yet gives the lyrics the space they deserve.

For the first time in FNWGG’s tenure I have chosen to print the entire lyrics of the song, for obvious reasons.

I hope that the holiday finds you with much to be thankful for.

“My Thanksgiving” By Don Henley

A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine

Sometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going through

The last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion-well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reason to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

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